Sea Dragons combine Thunder Ride with SAAM awareness

| May 2, 2014 | 0 Comments
HONOLULU — The Sea Dragons of the 94th AAMDC travel together on the  H-1 Freeway as they return to Fort Shafter during the unit's motorcycle safety ride, Sea Dragon Thunder Ride, here, April 25. The riders attached teal ribbons to their bikes as a show of support for the command's efforts to highlight Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

HONOLULU — The Sea Dragons of the 94th AAMDC travel together on the
H-1 Freeway as they return to Fort Shafter during the unit’s motorcycle safety ride, Sea Dragon Thunder Ride, here, April 25. The riders attached teal ribbons to their bikes as a show of support for the command’s efforts to highlight Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Story and photo by
Sgt.1st Class Karry James
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER FLATS — The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command “Sea Dragons” successfully completed their quarterly motorcycle mentorship ride, April 25, combined with the unit’s ongoing Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) observances for April.

“A group ride is important to build team camaraderie, to ensure riders are in compliance with safety and to look out for each other,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Finis Dodson, senior enlisted leader, 94th AAMDC. “In a group, you have more eyes, a wider vision to see what is going on around you, and you’ve got somebody that you know — and can count on — right there to help if something were to happen.”

The ride had a twofold purpose: to ensure 94th Soldiers are adhering to motorcycle safety standards and to show support for the command’s and the Army’s SAAM campaign.

“I wasn’t real sure how we were going to make the ride be in conjunction with SHARP (Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention), but after they came up with the idea of putting the teal ribbons on our bikes and wearing the jeans for Denim Day, it all made sense,” said Staff Sgt. Adam Christiansen, targeting noncommissioned officer, 94th AAMDC and unit motorcycle mentor. “Plus, wearing jeans can be considered a safety issue because you need to have something sturdy on your legs.”

All the motorcycle riders attached a teal ribbon to their motorcycles after attending the SHARP program training, which included a cake-cutting ceremony for SAAM.

“I really liked the idea that we had these little ribbons on our bikes, supporting what the Army is trying to do in getting the awareness of sexual assault prevention out there,” said Spc. Joseph Paulino-Wood, orderly room clerk, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 94th AAMDC.

After the trip, the Sea Dragon Thunder riders gathered around for a discussion on improving future motorcycle treks.

“The ride was successful, everybody had fun, and we all looked like Sea Dragon Soldiers out there, leading from the front,” Dodson said. “In the future, I’d like to get us to all having matching unit pride T-shirts showing our admiration for our unit and that we aren’t ashamed of who we are.”

Christiansen said, “We need to ride more, as practice makes perfect, and in order to get the new guys used to riding in a group. We need longer routes because in this ride we were stuck in traffic quite a bit, which really wasn’t all that fun. I think it’s just more fun to be free instead of in traffic.”

Paulino-Wood agreed.

“The ride was well organized, the route was okay and for a first-time group rider, I really felt comfortable with everyone giving out hand and arms signals as we went along.” said Paulino-Wood. “But, I just wish that there weren’t so many red lights along the way.”

The importance of continuous training on motorcycle safety and the 94th commander’s first priority, SHARP, are key in the prevention of the loss of Soldiers and the ability of the command to deploy to foreign regions to conduct training and contingency operations.

Dodson said that he and Brig. Gen. Dan Karbler, commander, 94th AAMDC, absolutely support SHARP. This event was their way of showing the 94th Soldiers that, as “One Team,” they’re committed to unit resiliency and care about the troop’s safety and actions.

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Category: News, SHARP

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